MIAMI — British police are known for not carrying firearms, therefore, when UK X Factor winner Matt Terry, 24, landed in Miami, the last thing he was expecting was a showdown at the OK Corral.
Terry, who won the 2016 edition of the talent show, had come to Florida to record the song Sucker For You, was shocked when Miami-Dade Police Department officers showed up at the studio brandishing their guns after he accidentally set off the alarm.
“So when I was in Miami, in the studio actually, I got there on time and they’re really laid back so they’re always late. It’s fine, I know the code so I punched it in and I set the whole building, the alarms were going off,” Terry said. “And I’m talking full out alarm here, like just about to rob a bank. 20 minutes later the alarm stopped, I thought OK great, I’ll try to go back in again.”
“I walked out the building to two Miami police around the corner and they pull out their guns and hold me at gunpoint. I was like ‘I’m from London’ that was the first thing that came to my head,” he added. “But I was held at gunpoint and the fear, my heart was racing. I thought ‘Are they going to shoot me?’ ‘Do they think I’m robbing the place?’”
The police, who believed Terry was robbing the studio, held Terry until the owner showed up and confirmed that he was allowed to be in the building.
“Luckily the owner of the studio arrived five minutes after they were questioning me. It was terrifying. Once the other guys arrived, they put down their guns and the other guy explained what I was doing,” he said, surprised at how quick U.S. police were to retrieve their weapons. “There were just very gun happy, they just pulled them out no worries. I thought, ‘You’re pointing a gun at me.’”
Terry debuted on the UK charts at number 3 with the holiday song, When Christmas Comes Around. He recently covered Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water with other British acts to raise money for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. He will release his debut album, Trouble, this month.